She wants to end the relationship.
Your inability to listen to her is disrespectful.
Your refusal of the reality is insulting.
Your attempts to call her from someone else’s phone, with a floral bouquet in hand, scream stalker.
So, let’s get this straight.
She said no. That means NO. It does not mean “I’ll give you another chance,” it does not mean “Please keep calling me,” it does not mean “Attempt to make me feel guilty and I’ll take you back.” IT MEANS NO.
And speaking as a woman who was forced to witness your display at her place of employment, as a woman who has had stalkers, as a woman who made it out of an abusive relationship alive, I’m pretty sure you’re an asshole.
The other question everybody asks is, why doesn’t she just leave? Why didn’t I walk out? I could have left any time. To me, this is the saddest and most painful question that people ask, because we victims know something you usually don’t: It’s incredibly dangerous to leave an abuser. Because the final step in the domestic violence pattern is kill her. Over 70 percent of domestic violence murders happen after the victim has ended the relationship, after she’s gotten out, because then the abuser has nothing left to lose. Other outcomes include long-term stalking, even after the abuser remarries; denial of financial resources; and manipulation of the family court system to terrify the victim and her children, who are regularly forced by family court judges to spend unsupervised time with the man who beat their mother. And still we ask, why doesn’t she just leave?
’Slut’ is attacking women for their right to say yes. ‘Friend Zone’ is attacking women for their right to say no.
How hard is it to be a female human being in the media? Anne Hathaway is a pretty good measure. She learned everything she could about sex trafficking and prostitution to play Fantine, and knew only too well that modern-day Fantines were probably living within blocks of the Academy Awards. As she said in her acceptance speech, ‘Here’s hoping that someday in the not too distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and never in real life.’
Did that get coverage? No. Instead, the huge and expensive media beast speculated on her nipples. In a way, that makes Anne’s point. No wonder there are still Fantines, so many in the media think like pimps, traffickers and johns.
In pop culture, girls who crush hopelessly on guys they can’t have are painted as just that – hopeless. Over and over again, we’re taught that girls who openly express sexual or romantic interest in guys who don’t want them are pitiable, stalkerish, desperate, crazy bitches. More often than not, they’re also portrayed as ugly – whether physically, emotionally or both – in order to further establish their undesirability as an objective fact. Both narratively and, as a consequence, in real life, men are given free reign to snub, abuse, mislead and talk down to such women: we’re raised to believe that female desire is unseemly, so that any consequent shaming is therefore deserved. There is no female-equivalent Friend Zone terminology because, in the language of our culture, a man’s romantic choices are considered sacrosanct and inviolable. If a girl has been told no, then she has only herself to blame for anything that happens next – but if a woman says no, then she must not really mean it. Or, if she does, she shouldn’t: the rejected man is a universally sympathetic figure, and everyone from moviegoers to platonic onlookers will scream at her to just give him a chance, as though her rejection must always be unfounded rather than based on the fact that he had a chance, and blew it. And even then, give him another one! The pathos of Single Nice Guys can only be eased by pity-sex with unwilling women that blossoms into romance!